Farms are Finally Finished

Remember the other 2 “farm quilts” I quilted for Claudia?  She asked that I do one last one for her father.  This one is smaller and I decided to change it up a bit to make it special for her dad.

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She had some different colors, so I added a sun in the upper left-hand corner.

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And, because her dad is the “parent” of the farm, I put a house in the lower right-hand corner of this farm quilt.

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And, this farm has a dog, where the other 2 quilts do not.

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Claudia has been on a roll this year with making quilts for Christmas presents.  She asked me to quilt this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle quilt for her 5-year-old grandson. I love the texture of the fabric and the colors she put together for this quilt!

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But, what on earth do you quilt on a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle quilt?  Looking back, if I had to do this all over again, I would not have quilted anything fancy at all in the center of this quilt.  It gets lost in the fabric print and is hard to see. I quilted a scene of all 4 Ninja Turtles together showing off their weapons, but you can’t see it in any of the pictures.

However, if you look closely at the next few pictures, you can see that I quilted one of each of the turtles’ weapons in each of the outer blue borders.

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You can barely see that I also stitched the names of each of the turtles in the purple borders, and I stitched hexagons to resemble a turtle shell in the green borders.  I was trying to fill up space by putting the weapons in the largest borders, but I wish I had stitched the names in big block letters in the blue borders and made the weapons smaller and put them in the purple borders.  Live and learn!

In this next picture, you can see the little orange cornerstone blocks.   If you know anything about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, you know they love to eat pizza.  So, I stitched pizza in those blocks.

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I can only hope that Claudia’s grandson will be able to find all the hidden “pictures” in this quilt!

Applique Basket

Here is my latest customer quilt, finished.   She did all this by hand; needle-turn applique.  Isn’t it beautiful?

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And, here is a picture of just the basket of flowers.

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I love her selection of batik fabrics and how she coordinated it all.    She chose this color thread.  What is strange is how it showed up on the background fabric.  I swear it gives off a pinkish color in some places.  It’s funny how you can see a thread in one light and it looks different in another or next to other colors, such as the colors in the batiks.

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So, this is what I did with it.  I was a bit stumped on what to quilt into the basket.  There are lots of things you could quilt into it… berries and vines, flowers, etc.  But, I opted for curved cross hatching, because I thought it would be better understated than too much.  I didn’t want to over power the applique.

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You know how I love to sneak stuff into my quilting.  Well, I couldn’t resist adding a few surprises to add to the garden feeling of this quilt… one more reason why I didn’t want to add too much frilly stuff to the basket and opted for simple curved cross-hatching.  See the overweight hummingbird drinking nectar from the wrong color bloom?  That’s what happens when I freehand quilt a bird that is color-blind.  😉

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And, then there’s the confused bumblebee that looks like it has stingers on both ends…

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Or the butterfly that barely looks like a butterfly…

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But, I am fairly happy with the quilted vine that looks kind of like the vines the customer appliqued onto her quilt… if I could just get those outlines more even and not fat in one place and skinny in another.   I don’t know what happened there.

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Okay, the one at the top of her quilt looks better.  The good thing about being a quilter is that quilting isn’t usually the thing that pops out on a quilt; it’s the colors, the piecing and/or the applique.  So, even though I am not as good as I would like to be (and I never will be – there’s ALWAYS room for improvement), it will still look good if the piecer/appliquer is good.  And, she is!

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When I first saw this lovely quilt, I was concerned about the prairie points sticking up after quilt.  You know how quilting will draw up your fabric?  Well, the prairie points were not quilted, so I was worried I would ruin her quilt.  But, they actually lay fairly flat and look really nice as an frame for her bouquet.  This quilt gets returned to her tomorrow.  I hope she is happy with it and that she likes it!  I was honored to get to be the quilter for this quilt and for her.  She is a special lady who does so much for so many others.  I hope when she looks at this quilt on her wall that is makes her smile.

Hide & Seek in the Hexie Garden

I’ve been working on a quilt for Mickey Depre.  You may or may not know her as the author of

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You can find Mickey on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PiecedHexiesWithMickeyDepre.  She also has a website at www.mdquilts.com and her blog is at www.itsafiberlife.blogspot.com.  Mickey has a very creative mind that often goes in overdrive, so she has been very busy lately.  Just this week she was working on taping videos for Craftsy and she is currently in the process of writing her next pieced hexies book as well.

So, she asked me to help her out a bit with this (what I call “vintage”) quilt top she got from ebay.   She needed it quilted and she gave me full range on what I thought should be done with it.  You know, that can be lethal, for some people.  Well, I sure didn’t want to mess it up, and, honestly, I wondered why on earth she would choose me to quilt for her.  So, I was going to do my best with what I’ve got.

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And, what I’ve got is the ability to draw from pictures using thread.  Would that make me a thread artist then?  I LOVE whimsy and fun things, so I knew I wanted to draw stuff like that on her quilt… if she was okay with that.  And, she was!  For whatever reason, in my mind I pictured her dog peeking around the baskets and playing in this garden of hexie flowers.  So, although I was going to quilt the flowers to look like flowers, there were 2 side borders that needed to be filled with <something>.  I extended flowers and leaves into those borders, added a few baskets of flowers and put a couple of dogs out in that negative space as well.

Here is a shot of flowers in the baskets.

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The backing fabric is 100% combed cotton.  I thought it was polished cotton and bought it because some friends said the feel of that polished cotton on the backs of quilts is scrumptious.   When I got it home and took it out of its protective wrap, it looked like cotton sateen.  Okay, I think I can live with that.  But, I was almost horrified when I took the quilt off the machine after quilting this quilt and looked at the back.  Most great quilters I know like to quilt with solid colored fabric and, even better, they like to quilt with unusual fabrics, mostly to show off the quilting.  You can’t see the quilting too well on the front sides of quilts, but if you have a solid color backing, you can see it there.  And, you can “really” see it well if it is on shiny fabric.  This is where my horror lay.  It looked like satin on the back of this down-to-earth and “functional” quilt.  Not only that, but you could REALLY see my quilting!  My eyes bulged and I lost my breath (and not in a good way).  You see, I am still a little insecure about my quilting abilities and am not sure I’m ready to have my thread art screaming to the world, “Look at me!  Look at me!”

I tried to get some good shots so you could see the “sheen” of this backing fabric.  Here is one of the flowers.

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Do you see the dog wagging its tail?

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Here’s one of the dog’s face.

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Here’s a few of the front side.   Mickey and her husband are hockey fans, I believe, so it would have been nice to add that to the quilt for one more personal touch.  But, how do you get that to fit in a spring garden?  Well, soccer is *kind of* like hockey, right?  So, I put a soccer ball in the garden for their dog to play with.

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Their dog looking at the soccer ball…

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Here is one of the wonky baskets of flowers I quilted into the side borders.

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And, finally, before I was done, I had to add one more picture of their dog in the middle of the bottom of the quilt, peeking out at them.  You might barely be able to make out the “Peek a Boo!” I quilted right above the dog.  The word “Peek” is right under the pink flower on the left.  It’s written at an angle into an arc around the top of the dog.  Can you find it?

I had so much fun quilting this for Mickey.  I hope she will be happy with the quilting and can live with the backing fabric.  O_O

If you haven’t had a chance yet, hop on over to Mickey’s website  and take a look at some of her creative work!